Building A Dolby Atmos Studio: Why Choose HEDD

December 11, 2023

Building A Dolby Atmos Studio: Why Choose HEDD

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound technology, and associated audio format, designed to create a highly immersive experience. It was developed by Dolby Laboratories and first debuted in 2012 in cinemas before being expanded to both home and professional audio use.

The latest in a long line of new audio technologies promoted as having the potential to revolutionise how music is heard, Dolby Atmos has so far proven its worth by bringing a three-dimensional depth to surround sound (itself a revolutionary new standard that has seen multiple evolutions over the past 50 years, including 5.1 and 7.1). This is because Dolby Atmos focuses on object-based mixing, as opposed to channel-based, which allows sounds to be distributed independently in a three-dimensional space and mixed only at the reproduction stage, rather than assigned to an output channel. The result is a significant step towards a realistic, immersive audio experience compatible with a growing range of playback systems, from headphones to home systems.

Today, Dolby Atmos has become the main standard for immersive audio with new products and companies offering support for the format including major players in music streaming such as Apple, Tidal, and Amazon. As a result, the professional audio world has had to adjust with many studios deciding to take immersive audio more seriously and upgrade their studio installations or even dedicate themselves entirely to it.

Within the realms of audio consumption and production, Atmos is ideal for the following:

  • Bring listeners closer to the real-life concert experience by simulating room reflection effects and the spatial movement of sound.
  • Allow artists to compose or perform music in a 3-dimensional space.
  • Spatialise existing stereo mixes, turning them into Atmos mixes.

Making a studio immersive-ready

Over the past few years, HEDD has been working with engineers and studios of all sizes to help them realise a professional immersive audio installation that can live up to their dreams. This experience has led us to become an approved manufacturer by Dolby Atmos, the industry standard for immersive audio.

Creating or upgrading an existing professional studio to be immersive ready is a challenge that requires considering a range of issues including acoustic treatment, physical layout, mounting and cabling, calibration, and the software and hardware chain.

Adam Kagan is a mixing and mastering engineer and educator in Los Angeles,  credited on dozens of gold, platinum, and Grammy nominated albums, and he has put together a comprehensive guide to setting up a professional immersive audio-ready studio for us which we recommend as a reference to help you better understand what is needed and how HEDD can help with you its range of MK2 monitors and mounting solutions (designed in collaboration with industry leaders IsoAcoustics).

 Above: HEDD Atmos installation at the Mastering Academy in Hamburg. 

The HEDD approach to immersive audio - Right in Time

At HEDD we think that immersive audio offers incredible potential for exploring new ways to fully enjoy listening to music, film, or even video games.

To ensure that a multichannel Atmos setup translates to the listener in the most transparent and emotional way, the time relationships between monitors must stay correct at all times and independent from the room acoustics and geometry.

It’s an accepted truth of professional audio that due to their frequency-dependent behaviour, loudspeakers show deviation in their phase response. In practical terms this means that lower frequencies, such as bass, travel slower through the speakers than the middle and high frequencies regardless of whether or not a monitor is active or passive. This creates a distortion of the time relationships between frequencies and therefore affects how the audio coming out of the speakers is heard.

HEDD has focused on solving this common issue with the HEDD Lineariser®, a DSP-enabled tool available in all our MK2 monitors. The Lineariser is an adapted Finite Impulse Response (FIR) filter that restores the original time relationships of the frequencies in the incoming signal within the monitor at the cost of some latency. As a result the transient response is improved and a better focused stereo localization achieved.

We call this approach Right in Time because we believe that the importance of accurate time relationships is essential to ensuring a truly immersive audio experience. To be right in time across all frequencies is key in a Dolby Atmos setup where you have multiple monitors placed in a physical space (beneath, around, and above you) as well as multiple audio objects located within a three-dimensional space. When perfectly aligned, audio objects in your Atmos mix will be sharper as the relationships within and between all monitors in the room are 100% accurate and therefore more natural.

Thanks to the innovative functionalities of our MK2 range such as the Lineariser and Closed or Ported, HEDD monitors give audio professionals the ability to precisely control the linear phase response, a key but often undervalued element of audio reproduction.

“Accurate timely relationships between monitors mean a more natural sound.” - Klaus Heinz

Case Studies - Why Studios Choose HEDD for Their Dolby Atmos Installations

Our MK2 monitor range consists of 2- and 3-way monitors as well as subwoofers that are all Atmos-enabled, meaning they can be confidently used for your immersive setup.

In recent years we have worked with engineers and studios worldwide to realise diverse types of setups, from compact studios powered by our 2-way monitors or customised to feature incredible bass with four BASS 12 subwoofers to bigger spaces that combine our 3-way midfield monitors and custom Tower Mains. 

GLAB Seoul

GLAB Seoul in South Korea (lead image above) felt that using HEDD for their new immersive studio was a natural choice having already been using our monitors for a few years and finding they provide "highly accurate monitoring sound." This accuracy translates perfectly to the Atmos studio which "represents the unique color of music and allows the produced content to maintain consistent quality when heard in different environments, enabling full focus on the music rather than the surrounding environment or equipment."

“HEDD speakers provide a highly satisfying experience in an Atmos environment. Extremely flat frequency response, the advantages of Atmos setup through various features, perfect balance between models. In Atmos, HEDD is already the best choice among available products.” - GLAB Seoul

The unique MK2 functionalities and features such as the Air Motion Transformer and Lineariser are also highly valuable to GLAB for their Atmos room. "HEDD speakers deliver very flat sound across the entire frequency range," they explain. "While previous speakers with ribbon tweeters sometimes felt strong in the highs, HEDD speakers produce gentle and smooth highs. Additionally, they accurately reproduce clear mids and tight lows. They are highly neutral and versatile, not limited to specific genres. The Lineariser function corrects the physical speed differences between frequency ranges, flattening the phase and creating perfect impulse responses. When combined with the BASS 12, there are many advantages as the number of speakers increases in an Atmos setup."

One of the biggest concerns for GLAB was ensuring accurate monitoring across different models from the same manufacturer, considering potential model variations. What they found by combining the TYPE 07, TYPE 20, and TYPE 30 MK2 models was that "each model maintains perfect balance, eliminating concerns about different monitoring at each position."

Above: The TYPE 07 MK2 used as a ceiling monitor in the GLAB Seoul Atmos studio.

Marx Audio - Berlin

In 2021, Berlin's Marx Audio chose HEDD to upgrade their main room to handle spatial audio with a 7.1.4 installation that combines the TYPE 05, 20, and 30 monitors with a BASS 12 subwoofer giving this recording and post-production studio the musical response and power they wanted.  

Rimshot - England

Rimshot Studio, located in Kent, England, also leaned on HEDD for its Dolby Atmos install after hearing the Tower Mains System. The new control room setup features TYPE 05, 07, and 30 monitors giving owner Mike Thorne clarity and comfort for recording and mixing sessions.

Mastering Academy - Hamburg

One of our most recent Dolby installations is for Hamburg's Mastering Academy, who have been working on converting one of their rooms to immersive audio for a decade. The result shows the benefits of spending the necessary time and care in adapting the room to Atmos requirements with extensive acoustic treatment and calibration.

They pitched HEDD against other manufacturers and like GLAB found that the sonic consistency across our MK2 models was key to allow them to customise the installation to their specific needs while remaining coherent. The room features a 7.1.4 Atmos install with four BASS 12 subwoofers alongside the TYPE 30, TYPE 05, and TYPE 07.


“It is very intuitive to spot problems and solve them. When we verify mixes in other studios they sound perfectly balanced and the setup is mastering grade also for 2.2 mastering work.” - Friedemann Tischmeyer, Mastering Academy

The Mastering Academy uses all 15 MK2 monitors in closed mode which gives them "a super tight sonic response that is reliable to the lowest register." What's more once everything was setup they could just focus on the work straight away and not worry about further tunings or requirements.

HEDD Atmos Bundles

To find out more about how HEDD can help with your Dolby Atmos and immersive audio needs browse our immersive installation bundle page, where you can find different combination of our MK 2 monitors in a range designed to accomodate small, medium, and large rooms or even custom needs. You can also view our range of mounting solutions, designed with IsoAcoustics.


Feel free to also email us to book a personal consultation at info@hedd.audio.

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